San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos), Mexico



Feb. 20, 2005, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja fishing, Mexico:

The combined La Playita sportfishing panga fleet at San Jose del Cabo sent out approximately 66 panga charters for the week and accounted for an overall catch of: 20 sierra, 6 roosterfish, 120 pargo, 60 triggerfish, 1 wahoo, 4 striped marlin, 125 dorado, 75 yellowfin tuna, 12 amberjack, 18 cabrilla, 8 yellowtail, 6 grouper and 6 pompano.

The all around fishing at San Jose del Cabo was very good considering we are now in the midst of the winter season. Fleets were concentrating mainly on the areas from Chileno to the Iman Bank.

Live bait was a bit of a challenge, with mainly mackerel available, not so easy to jig up for anglers themselves, as it had been during the start of the month, so more people are buying the bait at the standard two-dollar per piece fee. Finding sardinas continued to be a difficult undertaking, though over the weekend a few lucky anglers were able to purchase minimal amounts of the smaller live bait that were brought down from Los Frailes and they were rewarded with excellent action of yellowfin tuna.

After a long dry spell of tuna activity on the Gordo Banks, this week showed some promising signs of a bite starting to develop on the Outer Bank for San Jose del Cabo sportfishing boats. The bait situation was a draw back, as anglers had to scrounge and work hard to catch a mix of mackerel, chihuil, bolito or skipjack and then also had to deal with some very pesky sea lions that were major nuisance, but for some San Jose del Cabo anglers their patience did pay off and resulted in yellowfin tuna catches of fish ranging from 40 to 100 pounds, though the actual number of fish landed were few, it was at least an encouraging sign that there were quality tuna moving onto these local favorite banks.

Striped marlin marlin dominated the offshore action, with most charters targeting this species ending up with one or two fish per day. The fish could be found tailing on the surface, as well as by blind strikes on lures, though using live mackerel was the most consistent way to hook into the stripers that were averaging anywhere from 100 to 130 pounds.

Mako sharks continued to be found in the area, as they usually are when schools of mackerel are present, most of the sharks being seen or hooked are medium sized, 40 to 100 pound, but there were others encountered that topped the 200 pound mark, including sharks that attacked tuna that were being battled on the line.

Dorado (mahi-mahi) fishing counts dropped some from last week, as they normally would in the month of February, but these popular game fish are still being caught at the rate of 1 to 4 per boat in sizes averaging 10 pounds, but also up to 25 pounds. There was one wahoo of 45 pounds landed out of La Playita, it hit on a trolled chihuil in the area of Punta Gorda.

Bottom fishing found a combination of pargo, cabrilla, triggerfish, grouper, yellowtail and amberjack, though the larger fish were not numerous there were a handful of specimens weighing up to 25 pounds.

Still excellent opportunities for whale watching, particularly in the Sea of Cortez for the humpbacks. There have been reports of good sierra action found on the Pacific, but on the San Jose del Cabo side the sierra bite has been very weak and there has not been much inshore action to be found at all.

This past week saw the cold spell give way to a general warming trend for the San Jose del Cabo sportfishing area, as the days were mostly sunny and high temperatures were reaching the 80 degree mark. Winds were a bit unpredictable, coming from all different directions on any given day, but they were not too strong for the most part and offshore ocean conditions were generally favorable. Water temperatures were still averaging in the 70 to 71 degree range, in the San Jose del Cabo fishing area, which is near normal for this time of year, if anything maybe one degree above average for February water temperatures.

Fishing water clarity fluctuated with the changing currents, one day blue water was found close to shore and on other the same places would be cloudy and greenish. Ocean swells were diminished, back down from the previous week to almost nothing.

(See "Mexico Fishing News" online for current fishing reports, photos, weather, and water temperatures from San Jose del Cabo and other major Mexican sportfishing areas. Vacation travel articles, fishing maps and seasonal calendars, and fishing related information for San Jose del Cabo may be found at's main San Jose del Cabo page.